International group of lawmakers backs amnesty for Trillanes

By Jason de Asis


SENATE OFFICE, Manila, November 16, 2010-The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) has supported the grant of amnesty to Sen. Antonio F. Trillanes IV, even commending the Senate for defending his rights.


In an email to lawyer Reynaldo Robles, Trillanes’ chief of staff, Ingeborg Schwarz, secretary of the Committee on Human Rights of Parliamentarians of the IPU, said a resolution supporting the senator’s fight to be released from jail had been adopted by the international organization of parliamentarians during its 123rd general assembly last month in Geneva.


The resolution, put forward by the Committee on Human Rights of the Parliamentarians, said it was “gratified by the prospect of Senator Trillanes being granted an amnesty” since this would allow him to discharge his duties as senator and represent more than 11 million Filipinos who voted for him.


The IPU also lauded the Senate for its efforts to defend the rights of Trillanes, who placed 11th in the 2007 senatorial elections.


Last month President Aquino signed Proclamation No. 50 granting amnesty to Trillanes and more than 300 soldiers who were involved in the military uprisings against former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.


The proclamation, which is awaiting concurrence by the Senate and the House of Representatives to become a law, covers officers and enlisted personnel who participated in the 2003 Oakwood mutiny, the 2006 standoff at the Marine headquarters and the 2007 takeover of the Manila Peninsula Hotel.


“We hope that by the time of the next session of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (January 17-20, 2011), the procedure of amnesty granting may have advanced” so that Trillanes can “effectively exercise his parliamentary mandate,” said Schwarz.


Schwarz added that the secretary general of the IPU had been tasked to write in this regard to President Aquino.  


The IPU committee said it will continue to look into Trillanes’ plight and hopefully “be able to close this case in view of the satisfactory settlement.”


Established in 1889, the IPU is an international organization of parliaments of sovereign states which fosters cooperation and dialogue among parliamentarians across the globe. (Jason de Asis)